Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.
It’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It can also be found in many other parts of the body like teeth, corneas, and blood vessels.
Collagen is essentially the “glue” that holds these things together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word “kólla,” which means glue.
As you age, you produce less collagen in your skin every year. The loss of collagen has the potential to lead to skin wrinkles and hair loss.
Your body produces collagen naturally by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids, which in turn build the various types of protein in the body, including collagen.
Eating a diet consisting of collagen-rich foods such as bone broth, chicken, fish, eggs, citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, beans, and tomatoes, boosts your body’s collagen production.
However, if you don’t consume enough foods rich in collagen or if your collagen production has declined with age, you may want to consider taking a collagen supplement to help your body restore its optimum levels.
In this guide, we’ll teach you exactly how to take your collagen supplement so that it’s most effective.
1. What is the best time to take my collagen supplement?
If you have digestive or gut issues, the best time to take your collagen supplement is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or with your first meal of the day.
If you have trouble sleeping, the best time to take your collagen supplement is one hour before bed for improved sleep quality. While other natural sleep aids, like melatonin, have more evidence of effectiveness, collagen contains a fair amount of glycine, an amino acid that promotes a restful night’s sleep. So if you’re already taking collagen, you might as well try taking it before bed to see if it improves your quality of sleep.
To help joint or tendon pain, the best time to take collagen is before exercise, walking, or rehab exercise - along with Vitamin C.
To control blood sugar, the best time to take collagen is before a meal because the collagen helps stabilize your blood sugar after the meal.
Yet you should consider these as suggested times to take your collagen supplement rather than times at which you must take your collagen supplement - or else it won’t work. Many experts agree that there is no optimum time to take your collagen supplement, as it’s broken down by your body just the same.
2. What is the best way to take my collagen supplement?
Thanks to influencers and brand ambassadors, you may be under the impression that you have to take your collagen supplement stirred into your coffee or baked into your favorite dessert. Although these are unique, tasty ways to get your collagen supplement in, they aren’t necessary or better than any other simpler ways of consuming your supplement.
With capsules, you can just pop them into your mouth whenever you see fit. Capsules are great for convenience or if you’re always on the go.
As for collagen powder, we believe the best way to incorporate it into your diet is to throw it into your smoothie or protein shake. Smoothies and protein shakes typically being meals that already require a series of ingredients, like protein powder, frozen fruit, nut milk, etc., we think it’s super easy to add collagen powder to your line up.
Some may make a case for stirring collagen powder into their morning coffee, latte, or tea, so that’s another relatively easy way to incorporate a collagen supplement into your diet.
If you want to be creative, you can bake with collagen powder or add it to eggs, pasta and rice liquid, oatmeal, or soup.
Long story short, there’s no “right way” to take collagen powder. However, the most effective way to take collagen is to eat it in ways you enjoy. Put your collagen in the foods and drinks you love so that you’ll ensure you’re taking your collagen consistently, which will then in turn provide you with your desired results.
3. Is there anything else I can do to make my collagen supplement more effective?
If you want to give your collagen supplement a helping hand, you could cut down on sugar in your diet.
Sugar is known to damage collagen in a process called glycation. During glycation, sugar molecules attach to proteins and lipids, producing enzymes that weaken both collagen and its elastin fibres.
And although it’s trendy to stir collagen into your coffee, to make your collagen more effective you may want to opt not to consume too much caffeine during the day. One study done on human skin cells found that caffeine inhibited collagen synthesis.
If you want to give your collagen supplement an extra boost, you can combine your collagen supplement with vitamin C. The combination of collagen and vitamin C helps your body produce more collagen.
In conclusion, there is no one right way to take collagen.
You can take collagen at different times for different potential benefits. Your collagen can be stirred into your coffee, baked into your favorite dessert, or sprinkled into your pasta water. You can cut back on sugar to prevent the damage of collagen or cut back on caffeine to prevent the inhibition of protein synthesis. Or you can take your collagen with vitamin C to help your body produce more collagen.
The golden rule for taking a collagen supplement effectively is taking it consistently.